Last Thursday, I performed in a recital for the first time. It was scary, but not nearly as much as I expected it to be. There were about 20 people there (via Zoom), and I was the only performer playing guitar music. Others sang, a few played piano, and one played viola.
I felt proud after participating in this first recital, for two reasons: Because no matter how it went, it had taken me from “Never performed in public before” to “Have performed” — and because it represented a milestone after four years of hard work and exploration. Simply showing up and doing it was enough, but it actually went kind of OK, so that was a bonus!
My path into music started with noodling on a ukulele in the winter break of 2016, and then it took root in my head and heart so deeply that I can count on my hands and feet the days I have not at least played something on a string instrument since then. I can’t remember exactly when I switched to guitar, but I think it was about 2.5 years ago.
I cannot possibly put into words how much music has been a saving grace over the last several years. I am still a novice with so much room to grow, but every moment spent playing has been one that brought me joy.
Here’s a recording of the song I played for the recital, Maracatu:
Far from perfect, but… overall, not so bad for a beginner!
Getting outside on a warm and sunny day feels natural. It just happens, there’s very little friction to it.
When it’s cloudy and a bit cool, not so cool as to be cold, but cool enough to not feel comfy, it takes a bit more effort to get out the door.
Like the weather, less-than-ideal conditions in everything else also generate resistance at times. My bike has been in a state of perpetual half-brokenness as I work on learning how to adjust derailleurs and fix issues with shifting. Sometimes it has been totally unusable, but most of the time it is in a state of “working but not working all that well”, a cloudy and cool sort of situation.
But whatever. Today I got out on the road and on the trails for a couple hours, gears a little grindy, arms a bit goosebumpy, but I enjoyed the ride just the same.
Now I have to go clean a sinkful of thanksgiving dishes in a sink that’s only half-functioning because of a garbage disposal mishap and a last-minute hasty repair yesterday. Cloudy and cool, but not cold and rainy.
A billion tiny snapshots per day. They blend together at times, if you let them. But you can also choose to let each one pass by in its own separate frame, flickering in and then out of your life like the light of a firefly. Blink. Blink. Blink.
Last night I had a strange dream about a massive rooftop garden in some city, frozen over, nearly a mile up in the sky. I stood in this garden, in the middle of a blizzard, staring at a rickety rope bridge extending deep out into the unknown, presumably to another mile-high rooftop, while so many people formed a giant line as they crossed it, easily a hundred of them or more, disappearing into the clouds and snow one by one; wind rocking them gently, like an ocean wave, slowly enough to not impede their movement, but strong enough to make it clear that the bridge was not clamped down in any way, free to move wherever the wind might take it—In the dream I stood completely still, staring at this bridge while the crowd around me kept moving towards it as if it was the obvious and ordinary thing to do, and with each one that stepped off of the rooftop and onto that bridge I wondered, what must be on the other side that makes them so sure it’s where they want to go, and that the reward is greater than the risk?
As of Monday, I will officially owe mortgage money to a new faceless bank all on my own, rather than having a shared loan with a prior faceless bank.
Seems anti-climactic, but this is the final step in untangling the tangle, and well… given that it has taken 100 days so far and literally over 50 different documents proving that I am in fact a “good risk” well… fuck yeah, can’t wait to finish this.